Wedding fashion-filter: Help a groom dress himself and his groomsmen!
June 8, 2010 8:22 PM   Subscribe

How should I dress myself for my wedding? Specifically, what color shirt and tie with a dark gray suit?

I'm getting married in a few short months. I have decided that I want my wedding party and I to wear dark gray suits instead of black tuxedoes. That was the easy part. We're getting a great deal at Jos. A. Bank: buy one get two free!

But Now I'm having a hard time coming up with a shirt/tie combinations for the groomsmen and I to wear. Factors making things difficult, in order of importance:

1) Bride's dress is not standard white. From what I've been told, it is "off-white" or "antique white". Therefore, I'm afraid a standard white shirt will make her dress look dingy. Is an off-white/cream shirt acceptable with a dark gray suit?

2a) I like it when the groomsmen accessories (tie/pocket square) coordinate with the bridesmaids. The bridesmaids dresses are black with no accents. (Black dresses + black suits/tuxedoes = funeral, hence gray suits) Flowers in the bouquets and on the tables will be some combination of greenery and in-season fall flowers. I'm imagining deep reds, oranges and golds in the flowers. This aspect is fluid and out of my control. Are black ties acceptable with the dark gray suits?

2b) My tie and pocket square should be different from my groomsmen, so that I stand out a little. In the photos, you should know which guy is the groom, and which guys are the groomsmen. If the groomsmen wear black ties (see 2a), what color should I wear to stand out?

3) My favorite color is blue (royal and "Keaney"* shades). The bride's favorite color is green. Blue is unlikely because it does not agree with the otherwise warm palette of colors planned (think fall foliage, etc.). Green, while not generally a "warm" color, may be more likely due to the aforementioned greenery in the bouquets.
* - Keaney blue is an official color of my alma mater, similar to "Columbia Blue".

4) I prefer solid color ties, but more likely to agree to a pattern for the groomsmen than I am for myself.

If there is any clarification I can provide, feel free to ask. Also, feel free to ridicule me mercilessly for either poor fashion sense or getting married in the first place. :)
posted by LouMac to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Regarding your first concern: unless your bride's dress is actually a dingy color (unlikely), it won't look dingy next to white. It will very likely look creamy or pearly or warm pinkish. My dress was ivory and my husband wore a white shirt with a gray tux. His crisp white shirt just made my pearly, pinkish dress look that much richer in color.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:26 PM on June 8, 2010

Have you discussed all this with your bride? She may have some strong opinions.
posted by amro at 8:29 PM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: Have you discussed all this with your bride? She may have some strong opinions.

She sure does! But she's just as uncertain about all of this as I am. She wasn't crazy about the gray suits to begin with, but was willing to compromise based on my enthusiasm.
posted by LouMac at 8:46 PM on June 8, 2010

Best answer: Pale blue shirt on you; (off)white tie. Extra points if you have it made from the left over of the bride's gown. Groomsmen pale blue or white shirts with ties of the bride's maids color.
posted by Some1 at 9:01 PM on June 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Why can't you stay in the gray family with your shirt and tie?

I think a pearl grey shirt would look really nice with a dark gray suit. Go back to the place where you're getting the suit and try on a few shirts with the suit. When you've narrowed down the shirt color try on a few different ties. Take the bride if you want so that she feels like she has a say in the final outcome. I think seeing it in person will help you make the decision. Also, the sales people might be really helpful. They see all kinds of combinations every day. Don't be afraid to ask for their help.

For your groomsmen I'm imagining a striped tie with black and gray, maybe even white. It'll be coordinating with the bridesmaids, but not matchy-matchy like prom. For yours, you could go with a solid color to either match the suit, match the shirt, a shade in between the two, or just plain black. Or opposite, put the groomsmen in the solid and you wear the pattern. It's still monochromatic and similar to the bridesmaids, but more interesting.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:51 PM on June 8, 2010

Listen this is all going to come down to personal style. Some people here are throwing out ideas that sound awful to me, but to each his own taste. You say your fiancee isn't psyched about suits not tuxes - am I to take this to mean that she wants it to be as formal as possible w/o wearing tuxes? If that's the case white shirts, french cuffs, solid tie. N.B. Navy is really the most traditionally formal suit color. Personally I'd do a solid tie in the range of the color palette rather then worrying about matching the bridesmaids only because I personally think black ties don't look great, but you know, there's nothing wrong with wearing them. Plus anything that looks good with gray will look good with black.
posted by JPD at 6:32 AM on June 9, 2010

I'd vote for a deep rust-colored shirt, with a slate or charcoal tie.

However, it sounds like your bride is really conservative and into a completely neutral palate here, so that might not fly. But you would look nifty.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:06 AM on June 9, 2010

Best answer: It sounds like you have a few questions- some are matters of taste and for other's you're looking for "rules" to follow. Strictly as a data point, the "rules" of menswear are not on your side. Off-white shirt? No way. Black tie with a grey suit? Nuh-uh. A grey suit at an event with women in gowns in the first place? Get the smelling salts. But here's the thing- those rules are old and crusty anyway and as exemplified in this thread, no one will notice or care. So I think you should do whatever you want. It's your day.

That being said, my personal taste is fairly conservative. You've got a lot going on here, so my advice would be to pare down. The grey suits are never going to match the black dresses, so don't make it look like you're trying to match- just wear a grey tie, maybe one with a small monochromatic pattern that still looks grey from a distance. Same with the white shirt. Even if you did get an off-white shirt, it wouldn't be the same off white (it could be off towards grey, yellow, or pink) so just go white. The dress will always be the color of the dress. What if the church was white? And lastly, I'd ditch the pocket squares. A pocket square + boutonniere is a lot going on in one place. Too much, in my opinion, and you'll probably get a special boutonniere to pick you out as the groom, so just go with that. Accessorize in a different place, like with cufflinks. If you still want to look more different than your groomsmen, pick a slightly different (but still grey) tie.

Since traditionally, the women wear color at formal events and the men are in black and white, I think it would be a little odd to have color on the men and black on the women. The monochromatic color scheme will tie you all together as a wedding party, the bride will stand out in cream, and the color will come from the flowers.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 9:30 AM on June 9, 2010

Best answer: A white shirt, this tie with a white handkerchief.

You're welcome.
posted by L'OM at 10:28 AM on June 9, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses! I like the idea of potentially wearing shirts not even in the white family. It looks like we have our work cut out for us, and really just need to take one of the suits to a Nordstroms or similar and mix and match.
posted by LouMac at 12:45 PM on June 9, 2010

make sure you know what it is going to photograph like as well.
posted by JPD at 1:51 PM on June 9, 2010

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